Top 80s Fads


Every decade has its own share of fads and crazes, and the ‘80s were no different. In fact, this decade was bursting with questionable fashion choices and crazy toys. Let’s be honest, most of us are glad that some of these crazy fads stayed in the ‘80s because most of them were either hilarious, cringe-worthy, and just completely bonkers. With that being said, we are here to list some of the biggest fads of the 1980s. So, roll up that Miami Vice jacket and wear your leg warmers, because we’re taking a trip down to memory lane.  And, we can all hope that many of these will stay in the list of crazy historical fads for the long run!

Koosh Balls

Launched in 1988 by U.S toy company Hasbro, these colorful balls is with rubber filaments that are attached to a soft core. The Koosh balls were also considered to be collectible too that’s why people back in the ‘80s bought as many colors as they could. The exact purpose of this toy is still somewhat unknown but whether it is made to throw around or just for the texture and feel of the ball itself, the Koosh balls still provided great fun.

Hair Crimping

There’s no in between when it comes to hair crimping, you either loved it or you didn’t like it at all. It’s a take it or leave it hair style. The hair crimping fad was mostly seen in an ‘80s school disco and it was often paired with large hoop earrings and leg warmers. Crimped hair was also often accompanied by bright colored hairspray.

Parachute Pants

These pants were tight fitting trousers that have an interesting shape. It is made of nylon material that is similar to the one they use to make a parachute. It also has a very large crotch area that sometimes reaches lower than the knees. These weird looking pants were left in the ‘80s despite MC Hammer’s best efforts to promote this fad. 

Leg Warmers

Leg warmers were at the peak of their popularity during the ‘80s. They were designed for cold days but at the same time, you can sport them when you go and hit the gym. Leg warmers were introduced long before the ‘80s began but it was in this decade where they experienced so much fame and that’s all thanks to the movies Flash Dance and Fame. Plus, they are not just for cold days or for the gym, they can be used as an accessory for your everyday outfits, too. 

Ghetto Blasters

Even if these radios were big and bulky, people in the ‘80s consider them as portable and they would walk around with it. Back in the ‘80s, carrying these outrageously large radios will make you look ridiculously cool. Aside from being large, Ghetto blasters were also pretty heavy, too that’s why you need to have a buff body if you want to carry one of these around with you.


If the Ghetto blasters were humongous, the Walkman was its complete opposite. These were really the ones that were portable. They could fit in your pocket and play your favorite record anytime, anywhere. It’s quite amazing how the Walkman seemed to be ahead of its time during the ‘80s, being to take your music with you everywhere you go with no hassle was quite awesome back in the ‘80s.


These toy often come and go as a fad and almost every generation have experienced this wonderful and entertaining toy at some point. But it was in the ‘80s where these bad boys were particularly a big fad. During the ‘80s, light-up yo-yos were the think and almost every kid collected those Coca-Cola branded yo-yo.

Micro Machines

Micro Machines came along in the late ‘80s and they became a big hit all over the world. This is mostly because they were easy to collect and they usually come in packs of three or five. You can also trade them with your friends if you have a particular design that you want. One negative thing about this toy is that they were so small and once you had so many of them, they could cause accidents such as being stepped on just like what Kevin Malone did in Home Alone.

Rubik’s Cube

The Rubik’s Cube became insanely popular in the ‘80s. If kids today compete about who can solve this puzzle the quickest, kids during the ‘80s were all just trying to figure out how to solve the puzzle and in the end, most of them either gave up or just peel off the stickers and cheat. There were also several puzzles which were made by Rubik’s that became popular during the ‘80s. They were all incredibly challenging and inventive.

Big Hair and Hairsprays

Hairsprays and big hair were not only sported by women during the ‘80s, but it was also the hairstyle of rock stars back then. To achieve a big, fluffy, curly hair, ‘80s gals used the most popular hairspray during the ‘80s, Aqua Net.

Converse All-Stars


Also known as Chuck Taylors or Chucks, these shoes come in different colors and two designs such as the low top and high top. Chuck Taylors stood the test of time and marketing because they are still worn until today. This is the only pair of shoes that’s fashionable even if it’s dirty.

Care Bears

These colorful, furry, and adorable stuffed animals taught the ‘80s kids how to care and be mindful of other people’s feelings. Every Care Bear has a brightly colored picture in their tummy that tells the kids who they are and what their special caring ability is. 

Denim Jackets

Whether it is light blue, gray, acid washed, or dark blue, the denim jacket was surely popular during the ‘80s. It’s not a surprise because it goes with just about any clothes, whether you’re wearing an ordinary shirt or wear it on top of a dress, the denim jacket is versatile. Some denim jacket even has that fluffy white cotton to keep you warm inside during the winter.



Probably most of the kids who grew up in the ‘80s remembered playing Tecmo Bowl, Mario Bros, Castlevenia, and Metroid with their friends. And to start the game, ‘80s kids would have to blow into the cartridge and adjust the spring in the console slot.

Video Arcades

Video Arcades

Since the ‘80s is the decade where video games became popular, video arcades also rose to fame as the “in” place to hang out with friends and have a good time. This was the ‘80s kid’s heaven. 

Friendship Bracelets

These bracelets came in different bright colors, beautiful glass beadwork, woven patterns, and even NFL football team names. These bracelets are also proof that you and your bestie will be friends forever and keep each other’s secrets until the end of time. 

Cabbage Patch Dolls

These dolls took the world by storm during the ‘80s and they’re still in the market until today. You can ask your mom or your aunt how much they adored these dolls back in the ‘80s.

Jelly Shoes

Probably every girl who grew up during the ‘80s had at least one pair of jelly shoes. These flexible and brightly colored shoes can be worn without socks and they were one of the popular fads during this decade.

Mullet Hair

Also called “business in the front, party in the back” because this hairstyle is short in the front and long in the back. Almost every guy, especially rock stars, during the ‘80s sported this hairstyle.

Rainbow Brite Doll

Almost every girl in the ‘80s had the colorful, fluffy, and huggable Rainbow Brite doll and watched the cartoon while growing up. They sure had a colorful childhood. 

These are the top fads during the ‘80s, which one of them do you remember having?

For more classic crazes, you may read our post about the popular food and drink fads in the 1980s.


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